PEOPLE seeking an exemption from the South Australian Government’s border lockdown will need to lodge a request via email to travel interstate without needing to self-isolate.
Eligibility criteria, application turnover time and how to prove you are exempt has yet to be confirmed, with South Australian Police stating “they are still working through the details relating to border control”.
A SAPOL spokesperson said they hoped to release more information tomorrow.
It follows Sunday’s announcement by Premier Steven Marshall that South Australia’s border was immediately closed following a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases, with exemptions for essential travel to maintain health, the food supply chain and the state’s economic needs.
South Australia Police will staff checking stations at 12 entry points in South Australia from 4pm tomorrow.
All individuals attempting to enter the state are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Mr Marshall said “logical exemptions” would apply, including health and medical supplies, health personnel and patients, food and commercial supply chains, health workers, near border interactions, travel of a relative/career of a dependent individual and for emergency services.
But more than 24 hours later, the government had not released information about how to apply for an exemption, with staff in the Premier’s office directing inquiries to SA Police.
The Border Watch repeatedly requested information how Limestone Coast residents could apply, as well as detailed eligibility criteria, but was given phone number for the Communicable Disease Control Branch hotline.
According to Premier and Cabinet staff, the SA Health-run hotline was updated to include advice for people seeking exemptions.
The Border Watch called the number and attempted to apply for an exemption, but was directed to put a request in writing by an automated response.
As of 6pm today, it was not yet known whether individuals accessing non-essential medical appointments in regional hubs such as Hamilton and Warrnambool – where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed – would be eligible for an exemption.
Mr Marshall said the travel ban would help delay community transmission of the disease, which he said was “happening in other parts of Australia, in particular the eastern states”.
“There will be a 14-day isolation requirement for non-essential travellers but food and medical distribution channels along with key employment sectors will have exemptions where appropriate,” Mr Marshall said.
“The health of South Australians is unquestionably our number one priority and that is why we are acting swiftly and decisively to protect them from the impact of the disease.”
SAPOL will continue to conduct random checks to ensure those required to self-isolate are doing so.
Individuals seeking exemptions should email email@example.com with as much detail as possible or contact 1300 232 272.